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Dave Woodhall's Villa Blog



Martin O'Neill's transfer strategy has left plenty of Villa fans puzzled, including our blogger Dave Woodhall. Despite that, spirits are high in the clarent and blue camp.

Two games in and nothing really seems to have changed. Villa lost to a Liverpool side who, if I'm being honest, scarcely had to hit top form, then got a creditable draw away at Newcastle. Both games were at daft kick-off times because television controls football. David Sullivan is attacking his own customers.

There's been a groundswell of optimism throughout the summer, resulting in record season ticket sales, but the first mutterings of discontent are starting to be heard due to the almost total lack of signings.

Martin O'Neill's transfer strategy is a puzzler. He's been here for twelve months and must be aware that in Mark Delaney and Martin Laursen he inherited the most injury-prone footballers in England.

Yet not only has he failed to sign cover for them he also, this summer, weakened our defence by selling Aaron Hughes and Liam Ridgewell.

They might not have been top-class players, but we wouldn't have started the season with a makeshift right-back after Delaney's inevitable retirement. Chief Executive Richard Fitzgerald stated that we would be making world-class signings, but this comment has been downplayed by other members of staff.

With a couple of new players Villa could easily finish in the top seven, which should be enough to get into Europe. When they're all available, our first team is good enough to give anyone a game.

If we don't sign anyone else, I can see a repeat of last season - good start and finish, but struggle in the middle when injuries and suspensions are causing a problem.

There isn't much wrong with the mood at Villa Park, certainly nothing that a couple of players and a good win or two wouldn't put right.

Which parts of the Villa team need strengthening? Join the discussion in the Season 07/08 thread on our Sports Message Board.

And read more from Dave at


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